QuoteIn August, 1914, the Hoovers were living in London. As war broke out in Europe, thousands of American tourists flooded into London trying to book passage back to the states. The US Embassy asked Hoover to help with these stranded American travelers. Hoover headed the Committee of American Residents in London for Assistance to American Travellers. This committee accommodated over 120,000 Americans. Besides loaning stranded Americans funds, the committee helped get them passage on ships, and in the meantime helped them get food and lodging in England. This committee made loans and IOUs totaling over one million dollars. All but $300 dollars of this amount was repaid.QuoteWith a call from Walter Hines Page, the American Ambassador, and some conversations with Emile Francqui, a Belgian Banker, Hoover decided to make the Belgian cause his personal crusade. This commitment breathed life into the Committee for Relief of Belgium. Hoover was faced with many obstacles: he would have to find a food supply great enough to feed 10 million people every day; he would have to find trucks, ships and trains to carry the tons of food; he would have to find money to pay for the food and the shipping; he would have to find someone to distribute the food so that all got a fair share; he would have to work on the problems of the German army trying to take the food, and the British navy trying to stop the food from reaching enemy territory. Faced with all of these seemingly insurmountable problems, Hoover dug in and did the job. Hoover relied on his three greatest strengths to pull off this monumental task: his technical ability, his practicality, and his morality.The conditions in Belgium and Herbert Hoover's ability to do something about it presented a moral imperative. Hoover's policy was to accept no salary or remuneration and many of his colleagues followed his example. The CRB (Committee for Relief of Belgium) would organize the charity of the world through public opinion, get an America volunteer staff in Belgium for the relief work, and would assure the Allies and Germany that the CRB was a neutral effort. All of the problems that Hoover faced were new. Never in history was there a situation like the Belgian tragedy. Through the four years of the war Hoover's CRB fed eleven million people in Belgium and northern France, and he collected more than one billion dollars to finance the operations.When the CRB found that growing children needed a special diet to fend off disease, they invented a special cookie containing all the essential foods needed for growing children. This was served every day with milk and a stew to over 2.5 million children. For Hoover, his greatest joy was to see the children growing cheerful and noisy again. The American people were behind the Belgian relief. States even sent "state food ships" to Belgium. Shiploads of clothes went too. Hoover had requested that an accounting firm keep the books and records for the CRB so that at no time in the future anyone could say that the committee either stole or made money from the relief effort. When the auditors presented a final report on the finances of the CRB it showed that less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the CRB money had been used for administrative expenses.In a message from Walter Hines Page, the American ambassador to England, to President Woodrow Wilson, Page describes Herbert Hoover as, "Simple, modest, energetic little man who began his career in California and will end it in Heaven, and he doesn't want anyone's thanks." This really sums up the way in which Hoover operated the CRB for the duration of the war. He gave a personal commitment to the Belgian cause and he wasn't looking for any platitudes from it. He refused various groups' honors for his relief work.